A Very Pismo Christmas in April
It was Christmas in April
Well it was to me. An alert reader of Low End Mac had an old Pismo with some bits and parts that they felt needed a good home. After a flurry of emails and an exchange of cash took place, I found myself with a parts Pismo to supplement my old Pismo.
If you're maintaining and older vintage retro laptop like I am, I cannot recommend enough that you purchase a "parts" duplicate computer. It's a bit like maintaining a classic car; you have to have a parts donor, because they just don't make 'em anymore.
I quickly unpacked all the original boxes and looked over all the goodies. I have been having issues with my Pismo's DVD drive. The laser lens is just off enough to play discs sometimes and sometimes not. This whimsical nature was enough to put a kink into Movie Time at the Hatchett Hacienda. The DVD drive from the parts Pismo had no such issues, and it's time to break out the popcorn. (I use the Pismo as a DVD drive attached to an old TV and stereo system so my wife and I can watch a movie while the kids destroy brain cells watching what passes for modern culture on the downstairs TV.)
While thinking that the price was worth it just to get a working DVD drive, I discovered a 256 MB RAM memory stick. Holy upgrade, Batman! The Pismo is easy to upgrade the RAM in, and before you could say "5 screws and a heat sink", I had the new chip in and went from 384 MB to 512 MB. The Pismo booted faster, and I saw fewer of the infamous spinning Beach Balls of Death. Eventually I hope to put in a full gigabyte of RAM, but 512 MB does make a difference.
As my boss says, more RAM is like Geritol to old computers.
I have a classic Pismo issue: My screen has the dreaded Keyboard Marks of Doom. The KMD occurs when the oils from your fingertips accumulate on the keyboard, so when the cover is closed it transfers to your screen. Once there, it cannot be removed. Even a Supreme Court decision will not make it budge. The "new" screen from the parts computer had no such marks. All I had to do was swap displays.
I started with the donor computer, since I figured that I wasn't out much if I mangled it. Fortunately for all us ham-handed handyman, iFixit.com has wonderful pictures for taking apart your Pismo. (It even has the instructions for removing a clamshell iBook's hard drive. I don't recommend this to anyone who has an ounce of sanity. I'm feeling a little faint. Microsoft is neither micro nor soft. Discuss amongst yourselves.)
There, I'm back. The display on the Pismo turns out to be a snap to remove. In no time at all, I had the displays switched and was happily admiring Tiger start up. (Quicker this time.) New screen, more memory, a better DVD drive, and another battery that works for 2 hours.
What's not to like?
Recent Recycled Computing Columns
- Changes, 2012.10.16. A new job has John Hatchett considered something of an iPad expert.
- In Praise of Optical Viewfinders, 2012.07.30. Although modern digital cameras have digital viewscreens, there's something to be said for the traditional viewfinder.
- The Lion Sleeps (on My MacBook) Tonight, 2012.07.05. Starting with a full backup, a Time Machine Backup, and an OS X 10.7 thumb drive, John Hatchett moved to Lion.
- More in the Recycled Computing index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Power Mac 9500, introduced 1995.05.01. The first PCI Power Mac has 6 slots, speeds of 120 and 132 MHz.
- June 18 in LEM history: 99: Is the iMac passé? - 01: Not all Mac-heads are lefties - Pitfalls of Freenets - 03: Impressions of a low-end eMac - 04: iTunes Europe: Where are the indies? - 07: Tiger users will be able to run up-to-date apps - 08: Old Mac restoration
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